Japan natural disaster: Death toll climbs after 6.1 temblor strikes Osaka

Blanche Robertson
June 18, 2018

A 9-year-old girl and two men in their 80s have been killed by a strong quake in the western Japan metropolis of Osaka.

Train guide electric boards tilt following an natural disaster at Ibaraki-shi Station in Ibaraki City, north of Osaka prefecture on June 18, 2018.

Japan does not confirm deaths until a formal examination has been made and generally uses the term cardiopulmonary arrest in such cases.

One victim was a 9-year-old girl who was knocked down by a concrete wall at her elementary school as she walked by.

The quake struck an important industrial area of central Japan.

Strong earthquake shakes Japan's Osaka in rush hour
No irregularities were detected at the Mihama, Takahama and Ohi nuclear plants to the north of Osaka, Kansai Electric Power said. Municipal authorities have confirmed three deaths in Osaka and a nearby city, a 9-year-old girl and two men in their 80s.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters the government was "working united, with its first priority on saving people's lives".

Japan Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters at a hastily convened press conference that there were no immediate reports of heavy damage, and that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had ordered relevant ministries to gather information on the natural disaster.

The Japan Meteorological Agency has updated the magnitude of the quake to 6.1, stronger than the initial 5.9 magnitude. More than 170,000 households in Osaka and neighboring Hyogo prefecture lost power temporarily but it was restored within two hours, the utility said.

Sharp Corp said its directly owned plants in the area were operating as usual, but a joint venture plant with parent Hon Hai Precision Industry said it had halted operations for safety checks.

Kilpatrick, visiting Japan for the first time from the United States, said alarms went off nearly immediately in the hotel and a loudspeaker told guests to stay away from windows. Osaka is set to host the G-20 meeting in June 2019. In 1995, a magnitude 6.9 quake killed more than 6,000 people when it struck in neighboring Kobe.

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